*** Myths and Secrets ***
The vulture is a very powerful totem. Its cycle of power is year-round. If you have a Vulture as a spirit guide or totem, it can show you how to use energy powerfully and efficiently. It glides effortlessly on the winds, soaring to extraordinary heights while using little or no energy. The Vulture skillfully employs already existing air currents against the pull of gravity, symbolizing the distribution of energy so that gravity do not weigh it down. In the process the vulture does not use its own energy, but the energies of the earth instead, or the natural order of Things. The Vulture is a promise that all hardship was temporary and necessary for a higher purpose.
Once a Vulture enters your life as a totem or guide, it will remain with you for life. Vultures live and work together, both in cooperation and friendliness. They communicate with friends and neighbors when they find something to eat. They let the others know where the food is. And when there is a big feast they communicate with neighboring flocks in distant roosts. The Vulture is the avenger of nature spirits. People with Vulture totems often can see auras and colors around people and things. The Vulture can see the thermals rising from the earth and uses them to soar into the sky. The Vulture can also teach you patience. It will soar for hours, high in the sky, using the air currents.
The Secret Language of Signs: Vultures feed almost exclusively on carrion. They perform a very useful function, in that they are eliminating potential sources of disease, although this often causes people to think that they are unclean birds. However, they are very clean. In Egyptian hieroglyphs, the vulture was depicted along with mother symbols, which, according to Jung, was because Mother Earth contains both death and life. The Parish placed their dead where vultures could consume them, believing that this would allow them a rebirth. Encyclopedia of Signs, Omens, and Superstitions: Vultures have long been thought of as birds of divination.
They never kill their prey, but, rather, devour abandoned corpses. Because of this practice, they are held an omen of coming death. Vulture has the ability to “smell” death as much as three days in advance. Hence, should it hover over a house, such is said to be an omen of coming death. Since the Hebrew word for “vulture” and “compassion” are similar, an association was made between these large birds and parental care. Some experts believe that the traditional myth that a pelican feeds it young on its own blood may indeed be traced to vultures, who were seen to return to the nest with bloody morsels for their chicks.
Myths and Secrets: One of the oldest totems of the Great Mother in Egypt was the vulture, eater of the dead. Vultures who devoured corpses were regarded as her angels of death, since they carried the dead piecemeal to heaven.
Ancient Iranians didn’t bury their dead, but exposed them to vultures in open-topped “towers of silence” called Dakhmas, many of which still stand today. Such towers were built when Iranians worshiped the Moon-goddess Mah, the Mother, and believed that vultures carried the deceased to her heavenly realm. Even after burial was instituted in Persia, a dead body couldn’t be interred until it was first torn by vultures. This spirit-mother was a large carrion bird “with an iron beak, hooked claws, and a long tail.”
Although a repulsive-looking and bad-smelling bird, the vulture has long been held in high regard by ancient cultures. Vulture claws were said to detect poisons in food and drink. This bird was considered to be prophetic, knowing beforehand the site of battles. The vulture has been associated with the Great Mother for thousands of years in her aspect as life-giver and destroyer. As a representation of love and care, the goddess Isis is sometimes shown with vulture wings in her role as Great Mother. Mut, goddess of maternity and the sky, was often portrayed with the head of a vulture or wearing a vulture headdress. In the funeral rites of Osiris, four vulture feathers were attached to each corner of the coffin.
** Vultures do not copulate, but the female reproduces without male assistance. Vultures can live for 100 years. == Vulture warns of greedy and aggressive individuals; a user. Buzzard characterizes a gloating nature; one who stands in wait to pick over what’s left.
The vulture is a member of the raptor family, but unlike most raptors (hawks, owls, etc.), its weak feet and short talons make it unsuited for tearing and grasping. It relies on others to do the killing. Although their role as scavengers is often considered disgusting, it serves an extremely valuable and necessary function. It limits infections and bacteria from corpses that could otherwise spread to other animals who do not have the resistance. They serve to keep the environment clean and in balance. They prevent the spread of disease. There are several varieties of vulture. Each has its own unique characteristics. All walk, stand and perch firmly and with dignity, a kind of unspoken confidence in themselves, regardless of their appearance.
The vultures have a wonderful ability to see and use the thermals rising from the earth, giving them lift. Their ability to use the thermals is often linked to the ability to see the subtle energy emanations from the body. We have all experienced thermals in our lives. When we have driven down a road on a hot summer day and see the heat rising off the surface, this is a thermal. To the human ground observer, these currents are only visible for a few feet above the concrete. The vulture can see them as they rise into the sky. When on the ground, the vultures cannot see or feel the thermals, but in the air they are sensitive to every aspect of the currents. If turkey vulture has come into your life, you will probably soon start to see auras and colors around people and things. The vulture is a patient hunter. It can soar for hours without flapping its wings. They are tremendous symbols of flight without power. They ride the thermals and windborne updrafts. They use air currents to interfere with the pull of gravity and allow themselves to fly. In essence, they do not need to expend much energy to oppose gravity. This is seen in the fact that their wings rarely move, reflecting that the power for flight does not come from them. They simply use what is available.
One of the mystical secrets believed to be held by the vulture is the ability to levitate. Levitation is the law of spirituality. Gravity is the impulse toward the material and mundane (physical). The vulture denies the material. Its ability to float, rise and soar has been seen as a symbol of movement away from the mundane. It is a symbol of the disintegration of physical holds. It is a symbol of distributing one’s energy so that gravity does not weigh and hold one down–be it the actual gravity of the earth or the gravity of mundane situations and experiences. They can also fold their wings well above the horizontal level which is unique among raptors and most birds. It helps them in their soaring. When they do flap their huge wings, they provide a powerful thrust forward, and thus do not need to be used that frequently. This ability to use energy powerfully and efficiently is part of what vulture teaches.
Vultures are also noted for their keen eyesight. Their eyes see eight times more sharply than human eyes. One of its most powerful senses is the sense of smell. The turkey vulture has a highly developed sense of smell. They can find food simply by smelling it if necessary. Turkey vulture can assist you in developing your own sense of smell that you can use effectively in all areas of your life. The sense of smell is also associated with aromatherapy, and for those with turkey vulture as a totem, this may be the most effective holistic health technique to develop or use on yourself. The turkey vulture has a unique digestive system. When we examine the kinds of food it eats, it is no wonder. It has a resistance to botulism thousands of times higher than humans. The digestive tract contains chemicals that kill the virulent bacteria that is on the foods they eat.
***Animal Magic Spirits of the Earth: Buzzards and Vultures are bad signs. They are messengers who warn us of interruptions or problems forthcoming.
** If Vulture has flown across your path: You are being asked to be patient with yourself and think things through. Take your time before making decisions and choose paths that support your higher consciousness.
** If Vulture is your Animal Totem: You know how to use your own energy powerfully and efficiently. You have the ability to see auras and colors around people with your higher vision and you know how to use patience as a means to an end.
** If Vulture has come into your Dream: To see a vulture in your dream symbolizes purification and insight. It suggests that your past experiences will provide you with invaluable insight into a current situation or problem. Consider the metaphor of someone who is a “vulture”. Sometimes a vulture is also a symbol of death, doom or rebirth..
Symbolic Vulture Meanings: Bird meaning, in general, deals with the element of air, and air is symbolic of the mind, thoughts, and intelligence. That the vulture is a master navigator of the winds reminds us we might need to “go back to the mental drawing board” before acting in projects. The vulture also asks us to be patient with ourselves, and think things through. They encourage us to be quite sure of how we feel before we enter the arena of our plans.
This symbolism is underscored by the magnificent level of patience the vulture exhibits. I’ve seen vultures coast air currents for hours, waiting for the perfect time to descend upon a tasty treat. We all know vultures are scavengers. This holds keen symbolism for us, in that the vulture represents resourcefulness. Contemplating bird meanings specific to the vulture can be quite eye-opening, and inspiring. Here are a few quick symbolic bullet-points for your contemplation…
The vulture does not hunt, it seizes the resources available to it. The vulture is all about higher awareness. Those who are called to this bird are equally perceptive – maybe even coming into a time of higher awareness. Vultures can spot fresh meat from miles away. In fact, its vision is vastly advanced. Vultures also have an uncanny sense of smell. This kind of bird symbolism prompts us to use all of our senses to navigate in the pursuit of our highest benefit. Technically, they open their wings to the sun to dry evenings dampness from their feathers. The sun also cooks off any bacteria and guts lingering after eating – a natural cleansing process. This is an unorthodox method that achieves remarkable results.
Historical and Cultural Views On Vulture Bird Meanings: Some cultures like the ancient Iranians, Zoroastrians and Tibetan Buddhists participated in “sky burials” in which they would leave their deceased to be picked over by vultures. This was an honorable process, as the vulture was a symbol of renewal and so, in a creative way, the deceased were given new life by their remains being consumed by the vulture.
In fact, Native American seers held the vultures flight pattern as an augury. Shamans of great skill could interpret the language of vulture flight to reveal important weather signs and omens. Native Americans also deemed the vulture as a symbol of renewal and linked it with renewal themes seen in the rising of a new sun every day . The Mayans had their ideas about bird symbolism. To the Mayan mind the vulture was observed as a death eater. As a consumer of death, the Mayan felt the vulture could also convert death to life. So, the vulture was considered a symbol of cleansing , renewal and transformation. It’s also associated with water and the vulture controls the rain.
Oturupon-Gbe Mogbe Npongba Babalawo Igunugun difa fun Igunugun tin se Omo Olojogboloro Wonni Korubo si Aiku arare, (Orubo) Ijo lonjo, Ayo Lonyo……
Nje Igunugun kin ku Lewe “kangere” Madagba Ma Darugbo “Dan-Dan”
Quick-List of Symbolic Vulture Meanings: Loyal – Serious – Patience – Tolerance – Renewal – Equalizing – Cleanliness – Perceptive – Protection…
Reference Sources: Wikipedia = Spirit Animal Totems = Keith Wedoe= Imelda = Vulture Man